Corti Brothers Selection Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Two from Italy and Two from Spain
Again in 2021, we have selected Early Harvest oils from MillPress, an importer/bottler of very high quality oil in Pennsylvania. Two are from Italy, and two from Spain. We buy these oils because they are very high quality and can be bottled upon demand, giving them a longer shelf life for our customers. (Shelf life in oil is from bottling, not production.)
The two Spanish oils Hojiblanca and Arbequina, are produced--one grown and produced--under the care of Marino Uceda and his daughter Mercedes. Marino Uceda is probably the most important oil technician in Spain. The Hojiblanca oil we offer is from a grove created, planted, and harvested at Antequera, near Málaga, and milled under his direct supervision. The property belongs to his wife and her brothers. Not much more needs to be said about its provenance.
The variety Hojiblanca (oh-he-blanka) is very famous in Spain’s central area, not widely planted in the south. It gives a splendid oil, with a delicate flavor and balanced bitterness and pungency. It is a very classy cultivar, especially when harvested early as is ours. Under Marino Uceda’s watchful eye, everything is done properly and with care, producing a wonderful oil for all uses. Having it properly stored and bottled upon demand, provides another quality parameter and allows us to sell this oil at a reasonable price to the consumer, assuring its maximum quality. It also helps that the owner/miller of the mill that works the olives is the brother-in-law of the man who owns MillPress.
The second Spanish oil is a pure Arbequina, from a grove selected by Mercedes Uceda Maza, from Ecija, near Sevilla. It is a new grove, with medium intensive spacing and produces under the watchful eye of Mercedes, a very typical, fruity, yet light style oil, typical of the variety. (Arbequina, in its intensive planting, is probably the most cultivated variety now in California.) This is not an intensive planting, and the production is more like that of traditional Arbequina in northern Spain. The fruit is milled at the same facility as the Hojiblanca. Early Harvest is important for Arbequina, since it maintains variety fruitiness which tends to become flat when riper.
(Full disclosure: Both Marino Uceda and his daughter Mercedes are tasters at the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition of which I am the Chairman)
Our two Italian oils come from Puglia. They are from two different varieties: Peranzana and Ogliarola garganica, both typical of the area of Canossa di Puglia and the Tavoliere, and are from the Sabino Leone mill.
The Ogliarola (oh-lee-ah-roll-a) is from trees that are 450 years old. Technically, it is Ogliarola garganica, since it comes from the Gargano and is a landrace of that variety.
Peranzana is a dual purpose variety, making both a fine oil and lovely olives for eating. (It should be planted in California since it has a constant production, not cyclical, as most olive varieties.) The variety is said to have been imported to Puglia by the Prince Raimondo Sangro di San Severo (1710-1771) who brought it from Provence in France, hence its distorted name--Provenzana > Peranzana. The Prince, himself, is worth looking up in Wikipedia! The Peranzana is from a new planting from 1999.
Both oils have noted flavor characteristics and personalities. They are both medium fruity oils: the Peranzana, with an artichoke leaf/tomato leaf scent and a fresh artichoke heart flavor. Its bitterness and pungency are balanced. The l Ogliarola has an herbal character, with a yellow apple tone, followed through in its flavor. Very well balanced, it is not your typical Pugliese style, such as Coratina.
Our Corti Brothers oils are all $19.99 the 750ml bottle. They will hold well through this fall and winter and even further, and should give great satisfaction A mixed case or 3 bottles each of the four varieties will give you a fine lesson in what high quality extra virgin olive oil is. MIXED CASE of 4 bottles each variety $215.00